/ If I can run a half marathon in 90 minutes ...

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tony on 30 Apr 2013
... what should I be aiming for for a marathon? I'm thinking 3.10 - 3.15ish. Does that sound about right?
IainRUK - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to tony: Yeah.. Maybe even 3:08... but normally times two plus 10 is a rough guide for that sort of pace..

Its all about the long runs then.. without them it won't be..
tony on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to tony) Yeah.. Maybe even 3:08... but normally times two plus 10 is a rough guide for that sort of pace..
>
> Its all about the long runs then.. without them it won't be..

Fortunately, there's plenty of time for them, and I do plan to do lots.
Al Evans on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to tony: Do a bit more distance training and go for sub 3 hours.
IainRUK - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to tony: Main thing is don't do them LSD... long slow.. 30 sec - 1 min max off race pace.. so what 7:40 min miling? but building through it so you get used to running the later miles at race pace.. thats why doing a s a group is great. I think that was my big break through really, but it takes a lot to force yourself to run those paces in long training runs.
tony on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Ha! Good answer! However, if my experience from last year is anything to go by, I'll be lucky to do the training I want to do, never mind turning it up a notch or two. I do need to be a bit careful with a dodgy calf.
The Grist - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to tony: My mate did the wilmslow half in 1 hour 29 minutes a couple of months back. Then last week did the manchester full marathon in 3 hours 18 minutes. He said he was disappointed with the marathon time. Both sound pretty impressive times to me.
tony on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Sadly I don't know anyone else interested in trying to run a marathon at that pace. Pacing is going to be a big issue - I'm rubbish at it, and I can get away with it over 13 miles, but 26 might catch me out.
Jim Braid - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to tony: Good few years ago now but these were about my times. I was doing 1.30 half marathon and did 3.13 for the marathon itself. I managed to run steady 7 minute miles until the 20 mile mark then it got progressively worse. I had only done one long run around 25 mile or so before the event. Should have done more. Naively I assumed as I did a fair bit of hill walking and was used to grinding out the long walk down the glen at the end of the day I would not be affected like other lesser mortals when I got in the final stages. Learned my lesson - and that's about all the advice I can give!
mattrm - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

Join a club, I'm sure you'll find plenty of fast folks there.
tony on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mattrm:

I'm in a club, and I'm one of the fast ones! (Yes, I know that's a bit of a statement about the club!)
The New NickB - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

In theory a little bit quite, but so much to go wrong in a marathon.

I've done half in 1:26, 20 miles in 2:15, but I was in bits second half of the Manchester Marathon, slight niggle turned into a major problem at 9 miles and I had to battle like hell for 3:19. Form and training would suggest I should have run 2:58-3:03.
The New NickB - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Little bit less (bloody iPhone predictive text).
andy - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to tony: The guys on the marathon talk podcast reckon twice plus 10% (rather than 10 minutes) - which would give you 3:18 - I think that'd be about right for a "standard" build up. It depends on how near the limit your 90 minute half is. And marathons are so unpredictable though - my PB is 3:07, having run a 1:20 half in the build up (so by that theory about 2:55), but then carried an injury when I should have been doing long runs, so eased it back to a slower pace. I've also run a 3:48 having run a 1:25 half as well!

I used to hang out on the sub-3:15 thread on RunnersWorld and most of the guys there were running 85/86 minute halves. But as iain says get the long runs in and a 90 minute half could easily translate to a 3:10 or quicker.
Liam M - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to tony: Have a look at this article. http://www.fetcheveryone.com/cms-37 The guy spent a while ploughing through stats from those who've run multiple marathons and halfs, and seen how on average they've converted between them.
tony on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Liam M:

Hmm. That gives me 3.19.20.

Must train harder. And smarter.
Liam M - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to tony) Main thing is don't do them LSD... long slow.. 30 sec - 1 min max off race pace.. so what 7:40 min miling? but building through it so you get used to running the later miles at race pace.. thats why doing a s a group is great. I think that was my big break through really, but it takes a lot to force yourself to run those paces in long training runs.

Doesn't that go against pretty much all coaching advice from the last half century or more? It sounds perilously close training like you race and leaving you more susceptible to overtraining and injury for most people.

I'm aware of a coach who I believe you know whose most common piece of advice to people is to slow down, and he seems to have developed quite a few advocates based on the success of his suggestions.
DancingOnRock - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> Doesn't that go against pretty much all coaching advice from the last half century or more? It sounds perilously close training like you race and leaving you more susceptible to overtraining and injury for most people.
>
> I'm aware of a coach who I believe you know whose most common piece of advice to people is to slow down, and he seems to have developed quite a few advocates based on the success of his suggestions.

30secs to a minute slower than race IS slow of you're running 7:40min miles in a race.

Running very slow will build your cardio very well for a beginner. It will only take you so far. Once you've got a couple of years under your belt you want to push a bit more.
andy - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: I was a long way off iain's standard but I used to run LRs at about 7:45 when 6:50 was race pace - and I'd also do 4 miles at the end at race pace to get used to running that pace when tired. Although I reckon equally important was my midweek "X in Y" runs where X was a number of miles at race pace and Y was the total length of run - usually X+2 so 6 in 8, 8 in 10 etc.
IainRUK - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Liam M: No 45 secs of marathon race pace should be easy.. I can hold that for 40 miles.

No not at all. Read the blogs, look what the top runners do. They do easy runs for sure, but long runs are quite quick but the essential thing is that finish at a good pace, very close to race pace for the last 3 miles..

Its all about variability.. but 45 seconds off.. 1 min especially should be easy.. if not how are you going to step up..

I've been doing too many slow miles.. now I do easy but lots of 6:20-6:40 miles.. and did a half in 75 on Saturday and it felt pretty easy.. the guy I'm training with is 66 half marathoner.. and that with an injury.. his coach, a top guy in south africa has been working out a schedule and its taken him from 71 > 65 in under a year.. but there are some brutally tough sessions..

10 x 2:50 min/k's with recovery for 1 k at 4 min k's... so a 20 k session at 28:20 10 k pace... recoveries at 40 min 10k pace.. just brutal sessions. I just can't comprehend how much he hurts.

But I went from marathon pbs of 2:46 (in a competitive race) to 2:39 (on my own in strong winds) with mainly adding long runs and long runs finishing quickly..

DancingOnRock - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock) I was a long way off iain's standard but I used to run LRs at about 7:45 when 6:50 was race pace - and I'd also do 4 miles at the end at race pace to get used to running that pace when tired. Although I reckon equally important was my midweek "X in Y" runs where X was a number of miles at race pace and Y was the total length of run - usually X+2 so 6 in 8, 8 in 10 etc.

My 4mile is at race pace for 10k and my 10mile contains about 4-5 miles at half marathon pace.
IainRUK - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock) I was a long way off iain's standard but I used to run LRs at about 7:45 when 6:50 was race pace - and I'd also do 4 miles at the end at race pace to get used to running that pace when tired. Although I reckon equally important was my midweek "X in Y" runs where X was a number of miles at race pace and Y was the total length of run - usually X+2 so 6 in 8, 8 in 10 etc.

I was reading a book for the over 40 runner... I was having a bad day when I just felt beaten up.. :-)

This guy reckoned there were 3 magic bullets to marathon running.
1. long run at a good pace
2. The X in Y runs
3. 1-2 k reps 30 seconds quicker than marathon pace.


I think if anyone structured their week around those 3 basic sessions off an unstructured week they'd see significant improvements..

mbh - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
X in Y runs ??? What are they?
IainRUK - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mbh: So if you are training for a marathon at 7:00 min mile pace... say tuesday night you do 2 miles so 1 min off.. so 8 min miles.. then 5 miles at marathon pace of 7:00 then 1-2 miles back.. you just build up the X..

You have to do some running at race pace, it feels fast, but with a taper it feels much easier come race day and you should get to 10 miles pretty fine..
andy - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mbh:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> X in Y runs ??? What are they?

Tis in my post about three up. Hard sesh but dead good for you.
mbh - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

So the X is the marathon (or whatever) pace bit in the middle of a slower beginning and end? Sounds good.

My so far more haphazard way has been to just try in every run to do some faster miles, using my gps watch to check. That means at the moment that I'll hope to do some 7:30 ish miles somewhere in a run where otherwise I am doing 8:15 ish, depending on hills. I'd like to push the 7:30 down to 7:00, mind, and for longer. Which means more X, at higher v and less of the Y, I think.

At the moment I am running out a strange niggle in the right calf. As in, nothing seems to be fundamentally broken or ripped in two or detached, but when I run hard uphill, it really hurt, last week. With gentler running on flatter terrain over shorter distances it has seemed better, and gradually seems to cope with longer distance. 8 miles now seems OK, and I'll try 10 at the weekend if all is still well. It's as though something got tangled and needs coaxing into being unravelled.
mbh - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to andy:

Just seen it - all is clear now!
IainRUK - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mbh: I'm a convert to foam rollers.. so any niggle and I go in the gym and role it out.. IT bands certainly feel better after a role.

Its all trial and error.. there are a few key sessions.. but try them all.. the main thing is keep a high variety.. but you won't run at marathon pace unless you train at it.. you won't suddenly find 30 seconds a mile, its why races in the build up are also handy..

When you seriously marathon train you know it. Constant tiredness.. by the end you feel on the edge physically.. but then you start to taper.. maintaining sharpness and trust on race day.

re the 10% + double half.. I think that includes those who get too much wrong.. so its a rough guide but if you get it right.. 10 mins should be OK.

But its hard to get a marathon right.. I think one of the hardest distances to pull off as its a mixture of fitness and intelligent running and confidence.

But thats why I'm a huge believer in build up races, so run pbs, do 10k's the odd half, even a controlled 20 mile race..
mbh - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

45 miles of running plus 4 or 5 km of swimming leaves me constantly tired as it is. And I haven't even entered anything yet. It's the Welsh 3000s next up in late May, and personal goals of running 1500, even 2000 miles in a year, having broken the seemingly unattainable 1000 miles in a year a couple of months ago. In other wrods, I'd like to just keep this going, while doing what it takes to get faster, because that is more fun, then see what I can do with that. That should ward off the comfy chair for a while.
mbh - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mbh:

and I may well try those foam rollers.....
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IainRUK - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mbh: Sounds good.. that was how I did it.. back in 2005 I guessed I was doing 30 miles a week.. so 2006 was 2000.. and slowly built.. I do think year on year building of mileage helps.. then add intensity.. a lot of people break down. Maybe last year I should have added more quality but personal life constant work travel meant just knocking out 80 mile weeks was mentally a huge help but also it was hard to plan much more than just running..

I think its good to have a variety of goals.. annual mileage.. short and long term road goals.. new pbs then the extra stuff like 3000ers.. Mountain marathons.. each year I've tended to do some other unique event like the 3 peaks yacht race, last year an elite MM, multi day ultras, the UTMB, classic road marathons.. it just helps keep the focus and keeps it different.
wbo - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to tony: There is also a degree of individual customisation involved. Some people just don't recover properly if there are repeated quickish 20 milers, some do. Another issue before London is that a lot of the people who are serious about the marathon are racing cross country the day before and are trying to long runs on smashed up legs anyway.

I would advise the op to get used to just doing the miles first and worry about the pace later. To be blunt , most people are pretty one paced anyway and their race is barely faster than their race pace. What world class runners do is pretty irrelevant to most people as they can't go back to bed and sleep till their next run.
IainRUK - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to wbo:
> (In reply to tony) There is also a degree of individual customisation involved. Some people just don't recover properly if there are repeated quickish 20 milers, some do. Another issue before London is that a lot of the people who are serious about the marathon are racing cross country the day before and are trying to long runs on smashed up legs anyway.
>
> I would advise the op to get used to just doing the miles first and worry about the pace later. To be blunt , most people are pretty one paced anyway and their race is barely faster than their race pace. What world class runners do is pretty irrelevant to most people as they can't go back to bed and sleep till their next run.

You can't think thats true for a 1:30 halfer?

Maybe for a 1:50/2 hr..

Weekly long runs are also an issue.. tbh I'm not sure how many who are serious do XC.. I used to do road races the day after a long run.. but would accept poorish performance. And XC is what once / month?

But I'd very much doubt if Tony ran all miles at 7 min miles..

I think your point stands.. at the slower speeds.. but I think Tony is past that point.. 1:30 hr for a half is decent club standard.
tony on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
>
> But I'd very much doubt if Tony ran all miles at 7 min miles..
>
In my last half, at Alloa in March, my fastest mile was 6.28 (carried away with excitement at the start) and my slowest was 7.08, slogging up the hill at 10 miles. I was 2 minutes quicker last year, but I was much fitter then than I am now and I was a bit surprised to get under 90 minutes this time round.

> I think your point stands.. at the slower speeds.. but I think Tony is past that point.. 1:30 hr for a half is decent club standard.

I know I need to get many more miles. I don't have a target race in mind - just something in the autumn, hopefully flat, so I've plenty of time to get long runs, but I am also wary of just clocking up long slow miles without any emphasis on race pace.

IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK: In the marathon that first mile must be controlled.. as you really pay later..

I was chatting with my training partner today and he says the rule of thumb is half marathon pace + 15 seconds / km... which is 5.5 minutes.. obviously thats longer for slower runners and that would be with perfect prep...

Andy mentioned a long time ago 5 long runs equalling over 100 miles in total.. and since then thats been a general guideline that I've heard time and time again and followed myself..

Fell runners make the mistake of equalling times to miles.. which just doens't work.. so count a 4 hour fell run as similar to a four hour road run... when in reality a 4 hr fell run is walking.. chatting to people.. stop for lunch.. photos.. and generally poor training..

Trail running can help the marathon, undulating forest trails or good vehicle tracks but pure fell running just leaves you short.

For me there are a few key things that I've found.. don't do long runs every week.. 15/16 miles is enough.. then a midweeker of 10-12 those for me are done around 6:30 pace when my marathon pace is low 6's... then X in Y type marathon paced sessions and intervals, longish, 1-2 k's at around 30 seconds under marathon pace for 7-10k's of efforts.
gibbysrabbit - on 01 May 2013
In reply to tony:
Great topic and perfect timing.
I did a half 3 weeks ago in 92 mins (but was ill the night before and not 100%, think sub 90 otherwise).
Running Belfast Marathon on Monday and have been trying to work out my race strategy. Its my first road marathon having done a couple of trail marathons last year.
Current plan is go out easy, stick with 3.15 pace group to half way. Then see how I feel for the second half - hopefully stick with 3.15 pace at least.

In training I'm probably guilty of going too fast most of the time. Last long run a week ago was 18 miles, half trail half road, average 8min miles, last 4 miles at marathon target time, finishing fairly fresh and comfortable.
Liam M - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> I was chatting with my training partner today and he says the rule of thumb is half marathon pace + 15 seconds / km... which is 5.5 minutes.. obviously thats longer for slower runners and that would be with perfect prep...
>

10.5 mins (an extra minute for every 4km, so 10.5mins for 42km), unless I've misunderstood your suggestion.

IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Liam M: Sorry yeah.. I was just adding it to the second half..... good point :-)

Too tired from this mornings 21 k with him.. he did 21 k @ 6:25 min mile pace off just a cup of coffee..
andy - on 01 May 2013
In reply to gibbysrabbit: Obviously you know in yourself how your training's gone, but I wouldn't say that 3:15 is "easy pace" for a 90 minute half marathoner. I've run loads of sub-90 halves, several of them under 85, but only 2 sub-3:15 marathons. One of them did feel pretty easy but that was when i was probably in sub-3 shape but had an injury in the build up so didn't dare push the pace too much. In the other I was probably about 87min half shape (unlike Iain I tend not to race in the build up much so hadn't done any races) and managed to keep to about 7:20 pace most of the way round but it definitely didn't feel easy.

Good luck anyway - main thing is to enjoy it.

mattrm - on 01 May 2013
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to mattrm)
>
> I'm in a club, and I'm one of the fast ones! (Yes, I know that's a bit of a statement about the club!)

Ok, well that about the only useful bit of advice I've got on this thread.

IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to mattrm: What does that mean? You must run a fair bit then?

Whats your advice.

Generally clubs are pretty poor standard, so 1:30 marathon would put you at the front end of most clubs I know. Certainly in Eryri, 300 runners, we only have maybe 10 runners who were sub 120 another 20 sub 1:30.. so maybe 10%..

So it can be hard to find others.. also many don't want to do that.. it can be hard to find partners who want to push runs hard, faster ones willing to run with you and slower runners who don't want to feel slow running with someone quicker.
IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK: 1:30 half marathon..
gibbysrabbit - on 01 May 2013
In reply to andy: Thanks for the comment, I've been trying to make my mind up for the last week. Originally I was aiming faster but have settled on trying for 3.15.
Went for 8 miles on Sunday night aiming for race pace - around 7.27 min miles, took it easy and stayed comfortable and ended up 7.15 average.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes - and hopefully enjoying it, but enjoyment will likely be linked with performance.

I think being mentally prepared has a fair bit to do with it. I'm sure I can do 3.15 or faster and am happy I've done enough to achieve this. Less reading posts like yours and more of the 'double half marathon time +10min' will help! (joking, all input appreciated)
The New NickB - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Interesting, my club is very much not an elite club and fairly small, maybe 30-40 active senior and vet men, but I reckon half have done a sub 1:30 half.
tony on 01 May 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Yours is a lot better than mine. We have a similar number of active men running, of whom I think 2 of us have done a sub 1.30 half in the last year. There aren't many folk in the club particularly interested in road running (we have fabulous trail and hill running instead), and there are a few who are considerably better than me on the hills, but I'll beat them in a half marathon.
mattrm - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Iain, assuming you actually read the fitclub thread, you know how much I run. i.e. not much and that I'm a fat, slow runner at best.

My running training advice would be to follow what you say, as you're rather good. If I were that serious about it, that's what I'd do.

It means (that in response to the earlier post by me) that as my one suggestion, which was 'join a club to find faster runners to train with' wasn't much use, I have nothing else useful to contribute. Probably a bit pointless to post it up. But there we go.

Out of the local clubs, I know one of them has quite a few fast and serious runners. But I'm sure it's hard to find folk to run at the same level at you when you're at the faster end of things. But at the same time, my club, is more of a social club, so we wouldn't be good if you wanted to find someone fast to run with.


Liam M - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK: That can depend on the club. Around Leeds there are probably a dozen clubs, maybe more. Although initially most clubs seem to attract a very broad range of talents, the clubs have distinctly different training styles and people gravitate to those that suit their aims and ability.

This means that clubs like ours have no sub 80 min HM runners, where I can't recall seeing anyone slower than 90mins ever in a Leeds AC vest, but they'll have three teams worth in the top 100 at the national xc. Although there are a couple of clubs with broader paces, for the most part if you get quick you transfer to Leeds AC or Pudsey and Bramley, and the rest of the clubs end up with the also-rans.
andy - on 01 May 2013
In reply to gibbysrabbit: I think if you're confident then it's unlikely you'll get "surprised" by the distance, which is what's happened to several people I know. They think because they've run a few 20's slowly then the race is just going to be the same, but a bit longer.

I've just had a read back at my blog from 2010 (when I ran my mara PB) and found this:

Andy's Marathon Race Day Rules

1. Plan the race - and stick to it. Absolutely the best thing about Sunday was knowing what I was going to do and then doing it. Because of the injury my biggest worry was blowing up at 16+, so I adjusted my target from sub-3 to 3:15 (which had always been the goal) and ran steady. Leading to rule 2:
2. There is no feeling better than passing shagged out people when you're tired yourself. I was fine at 18, which is the point in the previous 3 marathons I've started to really struggle (having known from half way the game was up). At 20 I was tired but still moving easily, and had started to pass some people who'd been a long way ahead. At 23 I was knackered - but still passing people who by this time were generally in a really bad way. Leading to rule 3:
3. You can never, ever bank enough time by going out quickly. I saw people who may have gained several minutes by putting the hammer down in the first half or even 15 miles. Those same people will have lost all that and a lot more by running at 10 min mile pace + for 5 or 6 miles at the end. Just do the maths - run 30 seconds quicker than target pace for 20 miles and you're 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Very good. Then walk for 2-300 yds out of every mile to the finish - and lose maybe 3 minutes a mile. You're 8 minutes down on the deal. Don't do it, kids.

Enjoy...
SteveRi - on 01 May 2013
Iain's broadly right I think. We're about 80 strong, maybe half of those are fairly new, or race rarely or are all raced-out and more social. Of the half that race there's another few rarely bother with the road. Probably less than 10 in sub-90 shape for a Half. I'm distinctly rubbish, and wouldn't make that cut but would be in the top half for the sorts of club xc, fell and road I do. Put me in a mass participation Half and it'd be closer to top 10-15%.
r0b - on 01 May 2013
In reply to andy:

Great post. I've seen friends go into their marathon with a goal of running sub-3 and then taking the first 10km out at sub-2:50 pace. Silly! Don't do it.

andy - on 01 May 2013
In reply to r0b:
> (In reply to andy)
>
> Great post. I've seen friends go into their marathon with a goal of running sub-3 and then taking the first 10km out at sub-2:50 pace. Silly! Don't do it.

I used to train with a guy I called "The Afterburner" on my blog - despite everyone telling him it wouldn;t work he was convinced that if he hit half way in sub-1:25 (when 1:25 was his HM PB) he'd have enough in the tank to hang on to go sub-3.

From memory his splits were 1:29/2:10! To be fair he had an injury a few weeks out (as did I) - but rather than shift the target he still went out miles too fast. You can track people every 5k online at London and I was just sat at home watching him get slower and slower.
r0b - on 01 May 2013
In reply to andy:

I did the same with one of my friends at London, through 10km in 40 mins, halfway in 1:27, finished in 3:08 with pace getting slower every 5km split. Fortunately he ran Manchester on Sunday (just a week after London!) and must have learnt his lesson as he was just in front of the 3 hr pacer for most of it and finished in 2:59:45 :-)

The target should be even splits +/- 2 minutes IMHO. My PB was run off a 50 second positive split.
bobpilgrem - on 01 May 2013
In reply to tony:
I ran a half a month before both my marathons-
1:30 for half and 3:30 for full.
I was pushing for a 'good' time in the half and just looking for a respectable finish in the full.
Hope that helps.
IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Liam M: Yeah totally. I actually think getting good and clubs poaching is better on the whole for UK runners.. I can see why its an issue but do think we should have a stronger elite club network rather than scrabbling for the same runners.
IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to The New NickB: Well Eryri are a fell club.. so does tend to have joggers.. but women wise I cant think of anyone who has ran sub 3 hr marathon.... and maybe 3 who have ever gone sub 1:30.. blokes maybe more than 10% but there isn't many..

IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to andy: I think the problem is partly London... people fly off at the start.. you can watch the splits.. 5k.. you know is too quick for them.. by 10k they've lost 2-5 seconds a mile.. but 20 k 20 seconds then the legs go properly..

Saying that I did it at lochness.. ran a 1:21 and 1:31 splits.. legs just went at 16... was just a few minutes too quick to half way.

My best splits remain 1:19, 1:21 for my 2:39.. but even that was wind assisted on the way back.. but maybe pushing into the wind took a tad out of me.

London is great for the watching on the web... I had a lovely morning, up at 7 am, hard 20 k.. get back.. sit and watch.. a mate ran a superb 2:23 to win the welsh championships.. his first 5k was quick. so he slowed but then he just held it superbly.
The New NickB - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Interesting events at the front in Manchester on Sunday, it was always going to be a race between Dave Norman and Andi Jones, but Andi had a huge lead over Dave at half way, as much as a mile according to someone I spoke to, but Dave beat him by two minutes.

Another interesting thing was that Dave had personal pacers, his brother Andy and Ben Riddell from Salford. I am not sure what the deal was, but they were only working for him. I will have to ask Ben when I see him.
r0b - on 01 May 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Here is Dave's race report: http://www.runnerslife.co.uk/dave-norman/race/greater-manchester-marathon/680

Apparently Andi had arranged pacemakers, so Dave did too, then come race day both of Andi's couldn't start. It was a good race and Dave a popular winner locally.
The New NickB - on 01 May 2013
In reply to r0b:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
>
> Here is Dave's race report: http://www.runnerslife.co.uk/dave-norman/race/greater-manchester-marathon/680
>
> Apparently Andi had arranged pacemakers, so Dave did too, then come race day both of Andi's couldn't start. It was a good race and Dave a popular winner locally.

Yes I was there, I don't really know Dave, but I do know Ben and quick a few of the Sweatshop crew.
IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to The New NickB: Yeah interesting report.. as linked.. all seemed fair enough.. Andy ran a brave race for a 2:14 rather than the win.. and it went wrong.. but Dave only grabbed pacers late on when he realised Andy had them.. both seemed fine with events.. both experienced at racing each other.
IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK: But andy's dropped out..
The New NickB - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to The New NickB) Yeah interesting report.. as linked.. all seemed fair enough.. Andy ran a brave race for a 2:14 rather than the win.. and it went wrong.. but Dave only grabbed pacers late on when he realised Andy had them.. both seemed fine with events.. both experienced at racing each other.

I just though the different approaches were interesting in a discussion about pacing a marathon. Andi is the faster runner, but clearly ran a much higher risk strategy.
IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to The New NickB: Yeah, I guess he was going for a qualifying time? C'wealths? So he was right on his limit.. is his pb 2:15.. so when you blow its pretty bad..

But he had organised pacers and they dropped out.. I think Andy was running better at the time so was expected to win but went for gold..

DancingOnRock - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK: Do you think you can accurately predict your first marathon time? How many marathons do you think most people do before they manage to run all the way round at an even pace.

I think I didn't manage it until my third one.

It's a long way and mental rather than physical, especially having the ability to go slow at the start on fresh legs after a good taper. Then, anything can happen, especially if you've not got your water/jelly baby strategy right.
yorkshireman - on 02 May 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to IainRUK) Do you think you can accurately predict your first marathon time? How many marathons do you think most people do before they manage to run all the way round at an even pace.

Exactly - my first marathon was just a case of 'try to do under 4 hours' and 'hope I make it round the course'.

That wasn't pessimism, just an acknowledgement that anything over 20 miles was unknown territory.

Now I know I can easily cover the distance, it doesn't daunt me, so I can concentrate on pace and strategy whereas in the early days it was only a minor consideration.
spacey - on 02 May 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:

I seem to be following and breaking the tips and guidelines posted on the thread so far. First marathon in Manchester last Sunday. Previous half PB was 1:24. Trained with my five biggest runs being 100 miles, plus a mixture of tempo (X/Y) runs, steady recovery runs. Was aiming for a sub 3 which I always knew was going to be pushing it but why not set yourself a challenge.
Race day had me well pumped up and just could hold myself back in the early miles, my tapering had left me raring to go and the early miles just felt so good. First half was actually a PB at 1:23, so way too quick. I knew and had it built into me that there were going to be long sections where I had to hang in there. It hit me at around 18, and I suffered. But what I am still surprised at is my mile times only dropped into the 7s, up to 7:30. I managed to pull myself home in 2:54.
Iím not attempting to big myself up here, just adding to the debate and showing that there are exception to the rules. I wouldn't plan to go off fast again and can see my strategy is flawed but sometimes if you expect miracles they might just happen.
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to spacey: Well done... sub 2:50 should be very possible..

Its not really an exception to the rule.. :-)

You just misjudged how quick you could run and did what we have all done..

I did similar at Boston, 30 C.. hottest day in the history of the race.. so went off hard to make up time.. knowing I'd slow in the heat.. so did it deliberately.. ran a half pb but I was in a mess come 18.. almost dropped out at 10 as I knew it was getting messy..

Ran 2:44 but was in sub 2:40 shape but I was passing properly elite runners so we all got it wrong that day. I think I made top 100 where as normally I'd have been top 250 or so.
spacey - on 02 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Thanks, Iím now left pondering where to go next. The appeal of going sub 3 was huge, now Iíve achieved it I wonder whether I need to put myself through that again, just with the goal of beating the PB. Having said that London is tempting and since I get a GFA place it seems rude not to. What keeps you coming back to marathons? ÖÖÖ I guess itís a bit like asking ďwhy do you climb?Ē but Iím generally interested in the motivation, it seems a bit more obvious with climbing.
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to spacey: Well when I first started running seriously I trained for a sub 3.. I ran a 1:29 half but then got IT issues.. but never thought I'd get it...

I then ran 3:03 in Snowdonia so knew sub 3 was a formality.. I then ran 2:46 which just shocked me.. so then my aim was sub 2:45.. that took another 3 years.. then I wanted sub 2:40... now I want sub 2:35..

there's always another goal..

I love marathons as I seriously think they are the greatest measure of a runners ability.. you need speed, endurance, experience and intelligence. You need the full package to get it right, I'm still not sure I've done that yet.

Berlin next if all goes to plan.
DancingOnRock - on 02 May 2013
In reply to spacey: Depends when your previous Half PB was set.

I'm by no means a fast runner 4:30 best marathon, 1:54 best half. The long runs I've done in marathon training have had a massive impact on my heart rate at the kind of paces that I was running halfs last year. I'm fairly sure I'm capable of sub 1:45 but will see how I do on Sunday in an undulating trail half.

Possibly my problem is that I don't run flat road races. I ran Peterborough half last year at 9min/mile in prep for the Rutland Water marathon. It was unbelievably easy. Rutland was not, by mile 10 running at 9min/miles, against freezing wind, rain and 'undulations' I was struggling.

I held on right to the end though, some parts running along flooded paths where the water was halfway up my calves. People were finishing borderline hypothermic. A brutal day!

Essentially what I discovered was I need 5 aims for a race. If my first aim was lost then I have a second etc. This way I'm not lost if the first aim becomes unattainable.

1. Sub 4 - theoretically easily achievable in ideal conditions on an undulating course.
2. Sub 4:15 - if sub 4 isn't happening then drop pace to recover and set new target.
3. Keep running and finish in whatever time this produces.
4. Run 100m, walk 20m.
5. Walk.

wbo - on 02 May 2013
In reply: Do you think you can accurately predict your first marathon time?
Well you have to have a go. Clearly you don't want to go bonkers and at the same time you want to run something that's personally meaningful. I would also argue that if you've run 90 minutes and you then go and jog round in 3.40 (pick a number) you probably haven't learnt much for your next effort.

I would hesitate to slate Andi Turner for having a pop at Manchester and blowing up. At some point as an elite runner you need to have a go and see what happens. This is trueat all distances, it's just the price for failure in the marathon is rather.

Also, earlier, even though 1.30 is a reasonable club standard, I'd still argue that pace judgement is still pretty lacking normally, and most people are pretty well 3 speed, and that's true for people a lot faster than 1.30 as well
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to wbo: I agree.. but until people try it they don't realise how hard it is just to hold on in there.. and look to bank time.. the person above (sorry forgot name) who dropped to 7:30 from 6:30 or so was lucky.. most drop to 8-9's once the legs go.
andy - on 02 May 2013
In reply to spacey: I know you say you "suffered" after 18 but believe me you didn't really - not as in "wheels coming off, everything going to rat shit" - you ran what, 1:23/1:31 splits when you were aiming for sub-3? It;d be interesting to see your 5k splits, specially for the first half - it sounds like you almost ran a perfect race but maybe went a bit quick for the early miles, rather than completely cocking it up. You also probably had prepared really well too - so all those long runs and MP runs did what they're supposed to do - they put credit in the bank you could withdraw when you needed it. Sounds like a brilliant first marathon - well done!

I can tell you from bitter experience what "suffering" is (this was when i was after 3:15) - it's going through half way in 1:35 then running 2:20 for the second half! That was London 07 (I think) when it was unbelievably hot and everyone crashed and burned. I was stopping, cramping, walking and all sorts. Now that's suffering!

spacey - on 02 May 2013
In reply to andy:

Thanks andy, I hope I never hit that level of suffering! It didnít feel like the perfect marathon somehow, I would have liked to feel more in control of those miles from 18 up to 23, I got it back when I could smell the finish. I am amazed that the wheels didnít come off more substantially, when I was enduring it I expected my times to be down towards 10 minute miles but somehow the body was doing things that my mind couldnít rationalise (does that make sense). I guess that is down to the long hard miles of training, so Iím glad I slugged those out.
I like the description from Iain about the marathon requiring speed, endurance, intelligence and experience. The balance of those is a fabulous cocktail and I am intrigued to see what I could bring to it with more experience. I also find that unerring motivation is required and I am wondering whether I can find that to go for 2:50 next time. I keep talking myself in and out of it!
andy - on 02 May 2013
In reply to spacey: My "best" marathons were my first (when I targeted 3:30 and ran a very easy 3:23 - but that was probably a lot slower than I could have run) and my fourth when i was probably in good sub-3 shape but eased back cos of an injury. I then did another, and sort of wish I hadn't - it was ok, I ran 3:11, got another GFA but I don't think I was as committed to the training so it was harder work on the day.

I've entered the ballot for London but really I'd rather do the Fred Whitton!
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to spacey: When I did lochness I entered and didn't really target it and had a shocker.. once I hit 16 my heart just wasn't in it.. to be honest had I not been running back to the car I may have quit.. to do a marathon you hearts really got to be in it.

Especially as youve now ran a good time you want to beat that so just finishing is no big deal.

The big city marathons are a good laugh, pretty unique experience.
Liam M - on 02 May 2013
In reply to spacey: It's the mental strength I found difficult on my first attempt. I was comfortable, but when I found myself gasping for water in shadeless 25deg heat at about half way, I largely gave up there and then and jogged the rest.

I did another 6 months later (where ironically it was the chilling effect of gale force winds and driving rain that got me), but had largely then realised I needed more time to build myself into an all round stronger runner before trying to do a respectable marathon.
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Liam M: I like to mix, but I'm at a point now where my pbs are roughly the same standard (16:10 for 5k, 33:50 for 10, 75 for a half and 2:39 for a marathhon). I want to go quicker in the marathon but that won't happen until the others go down too so I need to focus on shorter ones too..

If training goes well you enter a marathon with a lot of confidence and that gives you a lot of mental strength. When you are doing 16-20 milers and the long runs are finished with 3-4 at marathon pace, you know you are ready.
gazhbo - on 02 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Ok then, new question...

What time do I have to run for a half to be in with a shout of running run a 3hr marathon?

My pb for 10k is under 39 and for a half is 86. I've never ran a marathon because of the amount of training I'd have to do. I can train for a half alongside a reasonable amount of climbing but I think something would have to give if I trained for a marathon. I want to do one before I get too much older and would quite like to get close to 3hrs.

The New NickB - on 02 May 2013
In reply to gazhbo:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> Ok then, new question...
>
> What time do I have to run for a half to be in with a shout of running run a 3hr marathon?
>
> My pb for 10k is under 39 and for a half is 86. I've never ran a marathon because of the amount of training I'd have to do. I can train for a half alongside a reasonable amount of climbing but I think something would have to give if I trained for a marathon. I want to do one before I get too much older and would quite like to get close to 3hrs.

In theory you are not much off it, but it is all down to putting the training in and how things pan out on the day.
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to gazhbo: Agree with Nick.. you are border line.. if you ran a perfect marathon, with good training.. you could do it.. also bare in mind that in training well for a marathon you get fitter..

If you had a solid 16 weeks training.. 4 months.. I think you'd get it.. I don't know your mileage now but not many run sub 3's off much less than 40 miles a week.. I've a mate who runs well 34 mins 10k.. but always struggles come mile 22.. and I think its purely a mileage thing.. our pbs at 10k are similar.. by a marathon 10 mins apart..
Liam M - on 02 May 2013
In reply to gazhbo: It's a little bit tricky; as Nick suggests a classic Reigel value (1.06) would have your current times fairly closely equating to a 3hr marathon.

But as the link I posted earlier suggested most people, especially away from the sharp end of the field, struggle to achieve such tight conversion. The data from over a thousand runners suggested that most who go sub 3hrs for the marathon have half pbs closer to 82mins.

If you're strong over distance you might be able to do it with your current pace, but you'd be something of an outlier, especially among non-elite runners.
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to gazhbo: I'd go for it.. you're fit now.. time waits for no man and all that... a sub 3 is something to be proud off.. you can still climb a fair bit in the prep.. the beauty of road running is its quick.. your longest run will probably be 2:30-2:45.. so you can be finished by midday on the weekend and have all the rest of saturday and all sunday to climb..
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Liam M: That is because most get it wrong.. and badly wrong skewing the results.. if they ran a more intelligent race they'd get closer... we've all made the mistakes.. but if you prepare well and run a sensible first 10 miles.. half x 2 plus 10 should be plenty..

But getting a marathon right is not easy.. thats the beauty of the distance.. training.. over training.. gut issues on the day.. too fast a start... cramp... injury.. there's just so many things to go wrong. But good training helps.
gazhbo - on 02 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

I'm running Bristol half this year and if I can put in the miles before hand I could try and go sub 85. I never really do any speed work, my runs are very one paced and I only do any hill work because there happen to be a lot of hills around where I live. Is there a lot of benefit to working on how you run rather than just putting in miles? would running with a club help?

I'm very tempted to enter Brighton next year (don't really fancy London). I suppose the advantage of a spring marathon is that you can train through the winter and not miss out on too many climbing days.

I appreciate your point about having the rest of the weekend to climb. unfortunately I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter who might not appreciate that, but I guess the point is that running doesn't actually take up that much time. I guess if you're committed to training you'll make the time. I could always run to work instead of cycling.
Liam M - on 02 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK: That's not incorrect, but as the data is based on those with at least 5 events at each distance it includes at least an element of having experienced and learned how to race the event.

Although it is possible to run a good intelligent race as you suggest, the data implies that even with practice most people struggle to successfully achieve it. I think it's worth anyone targeting the distance being aware that it's fairly common to have difficulty getting anywhere near that perfect event, even with several attempts.
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to gazhbo: Yeah Brighton could fit.. I always do a spring marathon for motivation.. through those long winter nights..

Yeah I think run with better runners.. more quality miles.. if that means joining a club.. then do..

Just mix sessions.. tempo's.. reps.. steady runs.. long runs.. x in Y runs.. see above.. I train with a guy who has two kids.. he runs at 6 am every day. I only run once a week with him.. as it kills me to run so early.. but its good to see how he's changed his running to cope.
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Liam M: Yeah for sure.. I just think be brave..

But accept set backs.. I'm not sure there ever is a perfect marathon.. I just ran 7:19 for 100k.. a huge pb.. yet I still look back and think 10 seconds here.. 1 minute there..
chris bedford - on 03 May 2013
In reply to gazhbo:
Biggest problem I had when trying to balance climbing / running was that the former really suffered when training hard for the latter - made me appreciate how much you use your legs when climbing (now hardly ever climb in the uk having drifted almost completely to alpine / ski touring, with which the running fits really well). So if you're training for a sub-3, and unless you're super-talented, you will be trashed most of the time. One thing from your profile is that you have your best years ahead of you - folks I run with - good club runners - haven't hit their peak till late 30's to mid 40's. And if you want a fast, flat marathon, Abingdon is ideal....organised by runners (local club, of which I'm a member) for runners of all standards. Mid October, fills up fast http://www.abingdonmarathon.org.uk/

Excellent thread, BTW.
spacey - on 03 May 2013
In reply to chris bedford:

Agree with this, my climbing has been non-existent whilst training for the marathon. I just couldn't muster the energy to get to the wall to train as well as pounding the streets to train. Sure there are folk out there that can juggle both, I take my hat off to them.

Since yesterday and reading about all the great autumn marathons on the other thread I seem to be swerving back from the "why do another one" thinking, to rubbing my hands together and thinking Snowdon, Loch Ness, Abingdon, Chester..... 2:50....... this is how I get addicted to things!
ads.ukclimbing.com
chris bedford - on 03 May 2013
In reply to spacey:
> (In reply to chris bedford)
>
Abingdon

Closed for online entries but still accepting entries by post - if you act fast.....
http://www.abingdonmarathon.org.uk/news.php#news041
Me and the wife normally marshalling at about mile 10 / 18.
steelbru - on 03 May 2013
In reply to spacey:
I don't think Snowdonia's the one to go for if you're aiming for 2:50 !! It's got about 750m ascent/descent - have a look at the course profile on the website.

Anyway, it's full for 2013, so you can go get your 2:50 on a nice flat one this year, and do Snowdonia next year "just for fun" :-)
Irk the Purist - on 07 May 2013
In reply to tony:

Small update to add to the data.

I have done 3 halves under 90 mins. My pb is 85:50 and I did one in November in 87:10. I just did Milton Keynes marathon in 3:31. It went, really, really wrong.

70 mins to 10 miles, 1:32 at half way, just totally caved. Can't work out what went wrong. I hit the wall at 9 miles, running slower than my half marathon pace. Sometimes I guess things just don't work out.

IainRUK - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Eric the Red: Ooh bad one.. thats a huge positive split.

Do you read Stu Mills' blog? He talks about the myth of negative splits.. that in reality they aren't that important or even the right way to go...

You should have been very very close to sub 3.

What was your pace for the first 5? The pace would normally drop 15-16 onwards..

What was the problem legs? stomach or just energy wise?

Irk the Purist - on 07 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
I have read it yeah, I actually met Stu at the Steyning Stinger this year, although he didn't know I knew who he was. Nice chap.

It was so, so hot. I was aiming for 3:05 so went out at 7 min miles, paced it almost perfectly to 5, through 5 and all the way to 8. Put a slower one in (7:15) and put it down to a slight incline and then I just couldn't get going again. I put it down to the heat but my quads just died and I got gut rot trying to take too many fluids on. I started walking parts in the first half and was running 8-9 and even 10 minute miles. I considered pulling out as it obviously wasn't my day but decided to just man up.

Having said all that, I was in the top 10% at the end and the winner ran 2:45 so I'm not the only one that had a mare. St John's had a busy day!
IainRUK - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Eric the Red: Thats always the problem with late spring marathons.. just aren't acclimatised in heat.. I'd just write it off then..

2:45 is a slow winning time for a decent sized marathon.
Irk the Purist - on 07 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
It's already forgotten, I think more people DNFed than finished in front of me!

runbritain rankings has it down as a better relative performance than my 3:40 at the Stinger, and that's off road on the downs so loads of ups and downs!
wbo - on 07 May 2013
In reply to the above - I had never seen that blog before, but I think he raises some really interesting points, and many that I agree with.
1. What elite runners do is irrelevant. I was pretty good, and it was irrelevant to me as well as I couldn't spend all day in bed, Just because elites do x,y and z in sessions is no guidance at all to anyone running slower than 2.25 or so
Note also they are often very conservative in their estimation of mileages and pace to compound this.
2, Most runners can't pace. I don't believe his assertion that most people can pace 10k properly, not without a GPS watch they can't. I did a 10 mile tempo with a bunch of very experienced runners and we were all over the place.
3. Negative splits are harder than you think. Really, you're going to get really tired, and start to get problems maintaining style and tempo, and then you're going to get faster?
gibbysrabbit - on 07 May 2013
In reply to tony: Update on my post above about yesterdays Belfast Marathon.

Aim - 3.15
Half way - 1.35 (couple of mins faster than planned)
Finish time - 3.24

Set off too fast (7 min miles for the first 5) then slowed to half way, was picked up about 14 miles by 3.15 paced group and stuck with them to 20 miles then couldn't keep the pace, started to struggle and had to walk a hill at 24 miles. Managed to run last mile and a half.

- Should have started slower (with the 3.15 group as planned!)
- Lost track of my own pace and mile markers when with the group, didn't get control of this again after I was dropped.
- I've been training late evenings all year, heat didn't help.

3.15 definately was achievable but I didn't get it right on the day. Was surprised to only lose 9 mins in the last 6 miles as pace felt terrible and I walked for 5-10 mins.

Will be back to try again :)
petemeads - on 08 May 2013
In reply to tony: My Half & Marathon experience is mainly from the Eighties so things have probably changed a bit... I hated half-marathons, it was a case of "too far,too fast" but persevered in stages from just-sub 1:45 to 1:22:51, which would predict a marathon time of 2:55:42 by the x2+10 formula, which I always thought was good enough. Marathons were much more civilized, being a sensible pace, and I progressed from 3:36:33 (having never run further than 15.5 miles in one go) to an unofficial 2:59:50 in London in 1987 by running the second half slightly faster than the first. I got lucky in 1989 and won a place again so decided to take it seriously. This spurred me into the faster halves and the 2:56 prediction. I then ran the GEC 20 as a pre-London tester and received a results list which included everyones split times for the 6 X 3-and-a-bit mile laps. Crunching all the numbers in a spreadsheet seemed to indicate that the rate of pace dropoff over a long race was remarkably constant (in percentage terms) at all levels of performance. When applied to my pace (2:12:30, I think) it was exactly 1 second per mile that I would expect to slow by on a flat course. From this I chose a starting pace which when all the 1 second extras were added came to 2:53:11, which I reckoned was do-able on the day.
Of course, when you get there with your watch programmed to bleep every 3 miles with predicted times and you find you feel great & the 3rd mile is downhill & you run it in 6:05 then all bets are off & 2:45-ish starts to look possible... Needless to say, by Tower Bridge my legs were complaining and by Docklands I was being passed by Father Christmasses - but I still got round in 2:53:51, 40 seconds late. I do wish I had had the sense to trust my original judgement - there might have been a sub-2:50 in there with more considered running - but what is life for if you don't go for it occasionally??
tony on 08 May 2013
In reply to petemeads:

Many thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts, advice and experiences - it's always useful to get other perspectives.

I'm still not sure I'm going to do a marathon, but I am going to be upping the miles (20 miles this weekend), and if the dodgy calf holds up, I'll probably go for it. I may even report back ...
r0b - on 08 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> Do you read Stu Mills' blog? He talks about the myth of negative splits.. that in reality they aren't that important or even the right way to go...

His analysis is fundamentally flawed though, as Robert Osfield comments on the blog post.
IainRUK - on 08 May 2013
In reply to r0b: I'm not convinced either way.. but also that is how Stu runs.. he's a good runner but goes out hard and tries to hold on.. often doesn't.. I've beaten him through that.

I'm still not sure, I also don't think the 100k comparison is valid though as muscle damage is a much greater issue whereas you could hold on for a marathon.. but his general message is right, don't get too hung up on them..

However when you look at averages you bias the results.. as the negaive splits are constrained yet positive splits aren't..
r0b - on 08 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Looking at race data as he has will tell you nothing other than what people did in the race.

The main inference that can be taken from the Elite Men's times at London 2013 actually supports the complete opposite of what he proposes, a positive split resulted in the slowest winning time since 2007.
IainRUK - on 08 May 2013
In reply to r0b: Yeah but that was a suicidal race.. it was all about the win..

Olympic marathons are often slow too..

TBH I can't see why a constant pace isn't the best..
Irk the Purist - on 08 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

If I got out for a 2:05 marathon I have to pace it absolutely right. So I start off at that pace. On one day, I'll be having a blinder, everything is working great and in the second half I realise I've got a bit left and I kick towards the end. I do a negative split and finish in 2:03:59. On a different day I get to the second half, it didn't go all that well and I die a bit in the last few miles and finish 2:06:40.

So negative splits are in general faster times, but the tactic at the start is generally the same, go out to do a constant pace. I just think it's a bit of a knife edge getting that right, so people start conservatively to make sure they get a fast time.

(By the way, that was a metaphorical me. The real me starts at 3:05 pace and dies at 9 miles, as already discussed!)
SteveRi - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Eric the Red:
When I go for a 2:05 I liken it to bank charges - if I go slightly overdrawn early on not only have I got the debt to pay back, my body starts charging for sending the letters, etc. Therefore it's better to go into debt later in the race before compound interest has had chance to take it's toll. See, bankers to blame again.

For most of us there's a huge psychological boost of passing people later in a race, rather than being reeled in flagging. But mostly the bankers, it's always the bankers.

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